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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Sept. 27, 2009 / 9 Tishrei 5770

What makes our kids truly safe

By Betsy Hart



http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | The story of the return of kidnapping victim Jaycee Dugard after 18 years couldn't have been more bizarre. The almost two-decades-long ordeal of Dugard's parents, not just Jaycee herself, must have been excruciating.

But once again a high-profile kidnapping case has set parents on edge by playing to our worst fears.

Before parents start locking up their kids, they really should pay attention to the statistics. According to federal crime statistics, there are some 800,000 reports of missing or abducted kids each year. But it turns out that in a typical year only about 115 children are taken by strangers. Tragically these children are rarely returned.

The majority of the 800,000 are runaways, temporarily lost, abducted by family or someone the child knows well. While frightening for all concerned, in such cases the child most often returns or is returned safely.

And yet, today parents seem to live in terror of taking their eyes off their child. Even in their own backyard.

It's easy to blame the media for hyping the so rare but sensational story of stranger abduction. But it seems to me there's a reason we parents buy into it and so many of the other "safety first" messages that bombard us. It's a way we can feel good about making value judgments in a world that no longer really values judgment.

We parents inherently ache to make judgments that protect our kids. But open-mindedness is the ultimate value in our culture, so true "value judgments" are often out. Instead, at the right times we'll lecture our children about drugs and alcohol and seatbelts and cigarettes and bicycle helmets and stay away from strangers. And that's all good.

But moral values? We parents seem so reticent today to impart bold "right and wrong" messages to our kids. Even on a secular level. The parenting books instruct us to "separate the bad behavior from the child" and to build up a child's self-esteem no matter what he does. To tell a child to feel ashamed of himself because, for instance, he behaved selfishly or lied? There is no room for that in the lexicon of most parenting experts today.

And transcendent values is where we get really nervous. Too many of us would make our children recycle, but we wouldn't dare make them go to church or synagogue with us.

At one of my older children's back-to-school night programs this year, I heard a lot about the importance of helping kids "make healthy choices." Particularly when it came to drugs and alcohol. It's all in the framework of some things clearly working better than others.

I suppose it's no accident that I didn't hear one word about "making good moral choices." And I think that's a tragedy. Very often bad choices don't have obviously, or immediately, bad consequences. And very often "healthy" choices don't have immediately obvious or beneficial consequences.

So then what?

The culture increasingly trains us parents to stay away from what makes our kids truly safe: going after our children's hearts and consciences. Teaching them right from wrong at the most basic levels. Encouraging them to make sound moral judgments about themselves and their world. Even when, especially when, the consequences aren't obvious in the moment.

How ironic that we parents feel good about keeping our children away from strangers and in the backyard where they are "safe." Because it seems to me that by not facing up to what our kids really need to be protected in this world, we leave them more vulnerable to it after all.

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